According to the Alzheimer’s Association definition, Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that can severely affect the memory, thinking ability and behavior of a patient. Additionally, it is a progressive illness, and after a period of time, patients find it difficult to complete even the most basic daily activities. Many people in Missouri may also know that there is no known cure for the disease. However, researchers are aware of many of its symptoms and, based on that, are trying to identify a cure.

Interestingly, a common myth about Alzheimer’s disease is that it can only affect people at an advanced age. However, in reality, Alzheimer’s disease can affect people of all ages, even those people who are in their 40s and 50s. When Alzheimer’s affects younger individuals, it is called early-onset Alzheimer’s. Often, that is the group of people who are affected most by Alzheimer’s disease because not only do they find it difficult to complete basic daily activities but they also face numerous challenges when it comes to holding a job.

The Social Security Administration or SSA recognizes the seriousness of the disease and added early-onset Alzheimer’s to its list of medical conditions under the Compassionate Allowance Initiative in order to provide expedited payments for Social Security disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income. However, the benefits are only paid when the applicant is able to provide medical evidence that clearly proves that the claim is based on “early-onset” Alzheimer’s as opposed to Alzheimer’s disease, which is not part of the SSA’s CAL Initiative.

However, as is the case of other disability claims filed with the SSA, applicants often find it difficult to obtain benefits. Often, the denials are based on high income, failure to meet the SSA’s disability determination criteria, inadequate medical information or lack of other necessary documents. Irrespective of the reason for the rejection, the applicant’s problems are not resolved. Therefore, when the applicant claims SSD benefits, it may be a wise idea for the applicant to consult a lawyer with knowledge in that particular area of the law.

Source: Alzheimer’s Association, “Checklist for applying for Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits due to early-onset (younger-onset) Alzheimer’s Disease,” Accessed on Aug. 19, 2015